Saturday, June 18, 2016

Trip to Wisconsin (and Minnesota) -Picture heavy post

I've flown through Chicago one before and I've actually been to Minneapolis on a business trip but I wasn't able to go anywhere but to the offices and the hotel (and they did take me to the Great Mall of America), so I had truly never been to the midwest before.  My sister and her husband will be there for three years before they retire and move to Texas, so we decided we wanted to take my dad on a trip to his birth town and home before they move away.  So I was my dad's travel companion.  My sister from Seattle came too.  The first day we took it pretty easy.  We went a cheese and sausage market, then to a nice lunch and then took a river/lake cruise.  Here are few pictures from around the restaurant which was right on Lake Michigan.

Here are some pictures from the cruise.  They had to raise I think 6 or 7 draw bridges for us to get to the lake.

On the way home we had to try the famous Leon's Frozen Custard.  (It is as good as they say.)

And of course when we got home we were able to have a cold Wisconsin brew.

This was very good.  
We then went to Madison.  We went to the University of Wisconsin Madison campus.  They have a big dairy program and they had free tours so we did that.  Then went to eat at a bratz restaurant where we took advantage of the see, hear and speak no evil monkeys.  

I think my dad had too much fun with them.  
We also did a drive by of the state capital.

We then took a trip to Minnesota to visit some cousins, some old friends of my dad and to see the home he spent the first 20 years of his life.  
On the 5 hours drive (oops it ended up being 7 hours) we stopped to get some pie at a famous pie place in a remote little town and what did you know, 3 doors down was a quilt store.  Wisconsin was having their shop hop while I was there and was able to pick up this pack of fabrics.
 So we then got to my cousins house later than they expected but we still went on the local late for some fishing and fun.

Gene was the only one to catch a fish (which we released. )  We are still now sure what kind of fish it was.  

Gene having fun with a Barbie/princess fishing pole.  No he did not catch any fish with that one.
And then it started to rain, so we headed back to their house for dinner.
I wish I had a picture of my cousin and her husband.  My brother-in-law took pictures and he hasn't forwarded them to us yet.  Let's just say they are the nicest people around.  My parents came to visit her mom and dad many times so they got to know my mom and dad well.  

The next day we went to the old homestead.  Here are a few pictures of the farm.

11 kids were raised in this house.  My dad commented that there were no bit trees when he was younger.  He does remember his dad planting a bunch behind the house before he moved away.  

My dad remembers them making each of these bricks for this barn. 

The church where my dad was baptized.
We had lunch with my dad's old high school friend and his wife (who is a sister to one of my aunts) and then off we went back to Wisconsin.  Lots of car time.

The last day there was shopping for the girls and a tour of my brother-in-law's plant for my dad.  We did find a quilt store.  I picked up some flannels.  Because, you know, it's Wisconsin.  

Then my dad and I flew home - first class.  Yahoo.  That has never happened to me before and I liked it.  After seeing this beautiful green landscape in our travels all through the midwest....
with lots of pretty barns and green, green everywhere.  

Then home to this brown, ugly dirty roads.  

And that was my trip.  

As far as quilting goes, I put together a few table runners and quilt backs this past week since I've been back.  Today I spray basted all the runners and now I'll pin baste the two bigger quilts.  

Thanks for looking.  

Monday, May 30, 2016

Coxcomb Quilt is Done (and a little Cambria retreat). Oh and I saw Kaffe Fasset

At Road to California 2015 I took Anita Shacklefords Coxcomb class.  This weekend I put the binding on my quilt.  She gifts you a little history of the coxcomb blocks and gives you  stencils to design your own.  This is my version.

I spent a lot of time contemplating my quilting.  Well actually it hung in my closet for almost a year.  I was afraid I would ruin it when I quilted it.  I did pin it about 4 weeks ago after I marked it and for the first time ever I had a problem with some of my safety pins rusting.  The older pins.  We turned our swamp cooler on a couple weeks ago and there you go  Most of the spots are in the back, but there are two in the front.  I have been given a few ideas on how to remove the stains.  Wish me luck.  

Me and two friends went to Cambria this weekend for a mini retreat.  It seems I didn't get a lot done but I did.  I got the binding on the Coxcomb quilt, I also made over 580 half-square triangles using the triangle on a roll papers.  It took several hours just to remove the papers.  Then a bit to press and then to cut off the bunny ears.  Here they all are ready to go into blocks.  It will be real scrappy except for the middle pinwheel.
Here are two finished blocks.
I also finished the Fat Quarter Shops Designer Mystery quilt.  
I had to make the last block and then all the borders.  I had all the rows done already (except for the block in the bottom right.)  

My friend Kathy finished the inside of her Material Girls challenge quilt.  
She'll add some beautiful rose fabric for the border.  

I did not take a picture of what Janice worked on..  She has her own blog so hopefully she'll post her progress on that.  It was a block of the month program with some beautiful applique.

Last weekend my friend Adena J. and I headed to San Jose to go to the Kaffe Fasset lecture at the San Jose Quilt Museum.  He was a very good speaker - funny and inspirational.  

I grew up in San Jose so with the help of Google Maps I found my old home.  It seems so small now.  And the town has changed so much since the 30 years I have lived there.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Goodbye Dear Walter

We had to put our oldest dog Walter to sleep today.  He had been sick for a while and the last couple days wouldn't eat and whatever he did eat he pooped and puked out.  He was ready.

We got Walter and his sister Duchess about 6 months after I lost my shadow dog Sparky.  Kelly and Jeff first came home with Duchess and she was so sad by herself they went back and got her brother Walter.  It's a good thing they did because Duchess was pretty much blind.  Vet said about 20% sight and she needed her seeing eye dog Walter.  Duchess passed away about 2 years ago.  Walter had been sad since.  He was always overweight because he loved food.  All the time.  He knew exactly what time to get up for breakfast, he would bark at snack times and he would bark for dinner.  He lived a good life even though he only had one eye for most of it.  (That was due to a golf ball accident in 2004.)

RIP Walter.  We loved you so much.  I know you knew it.  You loved us too.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Metro Rings - finished

The fourth of the five quilts I pinned a few weeks ago is done!  This one is very spring-y.

This quilt was started this year at Road 2 CA quilt show where I took the Sew Kind of Wonderful Metro Rings class.  Helen Robinson was the instructor.  She is one of the 3 sisters who are Sew Kind of Wonderful.    

I quilted it very traditionally with feathers.  It felt like it took forever but actually only a week. 

One more quilt to quilt before I can piece again.  This next one will take some time.  It's marked but it will need a lot of fill stitches.  

Thanks for looking.